Software development is an extremely complex area and if you had to ask every question prior to starting, you would never really get underway. In this article, we’re helping you hone in on the top six questions you should be asking before you start working with a software development agencies.

Number 1: What is the process?

Having a solid understanding of their end-to-end process will ensure there are clear expectations for how the project will run and what deliverables will be completed. This is important so you know what to expect and when to expect it.

Whilst each agency is different, the process should involve the following high level stages:

  • Research
  • Functional Requirements
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Launch

If any of these stages are missing – beware!

Number 2: What is their testing team size and method?

Most people underestimate testing in software development. It’s also the one thing most agencies don’t do well or, worse, don’t do at all. Inadequate testing leads to cost changes and timeline blowouts throughout development.

Make sure you ask prospective software development agency sydney about their testing process and how much time they intend to commit to it. On average, two hours in development to one hour testing should be what you are looking for.

Number 3: What does the launch process and strategy look like?

When your product is developed and you’re ready to go to market, you’re at the start of a whole new journey for your business. Choosing a software development agency’s that can support you through the launch of your product will ensure that your business gets off to the right start and is supported long term. Ensure that the deployment method, post launch quality assurance and ongoing support plan is thorough.

Number 4: Who will communicate with you and how often can you expect to be in touch?

Software development requires communication. A lot of it. It’s important that you ask prospective agencies about their process for coordinating and providing updates on the project.

Outside of weekly meetings and communication every day or few days, most top agencies will provide a project management portal to track your progress and communicate with them on timelines and project matters. Email, SMS and phone, whilst helpful, are not project management tools, so if your agency doesn’t provide you with anything, you could find yourself involved in long email chains and version control nightmares in excel.

Number 5:  How are changes, bugs and improvements managed?

No matter how well you define your project from the beginning,  there are three guarantees in software development:

  1. There will be bugs.
  2. There will be changes.
  3. There will be new ideas and improvements.

How well your software development agency handles these will really show you the maturity of the organisation. Bugs should be reported and dealt with. Improvements and changes should be added to a list and frequently reviewed. The better organisations will have a system for you to log these in, and a process for their review with you. Some changes may require additional costs, but you’re looking for someone that has a methodical approach to these.

 Number 6: What is the expected project contingency budget you should put aside?

Contingency budget is an amount of money that is included to cover potential changes or improvements that are not specifically accounted for in a cost estimate. It is generally expressed as a percentage of the overall budget and should be called on at your discretion only.

A competent software development companies in sydney should be able to assess how firm an estimate is or at least give you some indication of its accuracy. If it’s a complex project where some ambiguity still exists, then this may be between 10 – 20%. For a simpler project 5 – 10% is more common. If it’s anywhere over 20%, it can be an indicator that your idea is not fully understood, so you should consider spending more time with them, communicating your idea in more detail.

The development process is full of questions. If you want to talk through some of your questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Spring Digital.